Whether it is nursing, education or political science, it is a humble portion of students who actually follow through with their intended career pursuits.
At Northwestern College, about 80 percent of students change their major at least once. It should come as no surprise, then, that the Career Development Center is trying to help students narrow down in on potential major focuses.
The How To Choose Your Major Workshop will be held in the Franken Center, next Thursday, Feb. 24, from 11 p.m. to 12 p.m.
Topics to be discussed in this upcoming session include student majors, career plans and how majors affect those currently in the workplace, along with a crafty new government job search tool.
Students at NW, as many of us know, have a wide range of majors from which to choose and further pursue. Some, like freshman elementary education major Kiersten Van Wyhe, plan to go to graduate school at some point, whether it is immediately following college or a few years later.
Many are piggybacking off this idea and mimicking junior computer science major Joel Koster: “I’m planning on going into the workforce at an organization that will pay for me to get my master’s while I work.”
Others are planning on going directly into the workforce, like sophomore Christa Curl, an actuarial science major. However, she plans to take the actuarial science test while in college, which is necessary in order to go into the field.
For those studying actuarial science, the degree itself, is not everything. Jim Tincher, a senior consultant for the Gallup Company, finds that his communication and political science double major helps him in varying ways, even if not directly.
For example, although Tincher did not delve into the typical political science realm, his degree showed him that “the systems and processes selected [for making a decision or performing a task] have a strong impact on the outcome,” which is extremely important for business.
Professors find that their majors are more directly related to their field than business people may generally discover.
Wayne Westenberg, a mathematics professor at NW, stated that his major of math and elementary education directly applied to his career as a math teacher.
Brandon Woudstra, an adjunct professor in the business department, found much of the same with his major in Business Administration/Business Education. Woudstra contends that he chose such a field to “give myself opportunities down slightly different avenues.”
Ray Gibler, an accounting professor, having been practiced in both teaching and in the marketplace, found that although he took every class he is teaching now as an undergrad, his work experience has helped him fill in the gaps from his classes.
Another valuable tool for students as they consider graduation is an online program created by the United States Labor Department to help workers find jobs. The tool surveys a career-seeker ‘s interests in an attempt to match his or her skill sets to an available job.
Koster perceives the online outlet as a very strong tool that he may consider using in the future to find jobs and internships. However, Curl urges fellow students to not focus solely on this one tool.
Both Gibler and Tincher remind us that the average person has between five and seven careers, not to be confused with the “job” label.
Gibler notes, “While choosing a major is important and something everyone should carefully and prayerfully consider, it also needn’t limit or even define your potential and opportunities.” He further encourages, “A major should be viewed as a starting point, a way to find your first job. After that, all that remains is to hang on and enjoy the ride that God leads you on.”